Eagles' Top Trade Targets Entering 2021 NFL Offseason

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IFebruary 1, 2021

Eagles' Top Trade Targets Entering 2021 NFL Offseason

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    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    Since the Philadelphia Eagles' disappointing 2020 season came to a close, there has been speculation surrounding who they could potentially trade this offseason. There are some talented players on their roster, but they went 4-11-1 and finished last in the NFC East this past season.

    Quarterback Carson Wentz, tight end Zach Ertz and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox are among the names to have been included in trade rumors heading into the offseason. Philadelphia needs to clear cap space before the 2021 campaign, and it could potentially do so by dealing some of these players who are likely garnering interest from opposing teams.

    If the Eagles clear enough cap space, perhaps they could also make some deals to bring in players to help the franchise get back to success in the future. They could potentially acquire draft picks by dealing some of their players, then possibly make a trade or two of their own to improve their roster.

    Here's a look at three potential trade targets for Philadelphia this offseason.

Zach Cunningham, LB, Houston Texans

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    If the Eagles can clear enough cap space, it could be worthwhile to try to put a package together to land Cunningham. The Texans could be dealing some of their top players this offseason to get draft picks, and Cunningham was a player who was viewed as a potential trade target by league executives during the 2020 season, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

    The 26-year-old Cunningham has had at least 90 tackles in each of his first four NFL seasons, and he's eclipsed the 100-tackle mark in each of the past three. He had a career-high 164 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble while starting all 16 games for Houston this past season.

    Because of how well Cunningham has consistently played, it may take a sizable offer to land him in a trade. But Philadelphia needs to improve its linebacker corps, which remains one of the weakest areas on its roster. If the Eagles are going to have a top defense, they could use a top-tier linebacker, such as Cunningham, to lead the way.

    Cunningham likely has a bunch of big seasons ahead of him, so this could be a move that would help Philadelphia for the long term. So, the Eagles should keep an eye on the players the Texans make available.

Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    The Eagles need a top-tier wide receiver, especially if they decide to lose some underperforming veterans of their own, like DeSean Jackson and/or Alshon Jeffery. And Philadelphia hasn't had a ton of success drafting receivers, and Jalen Reagor, a first-round pick last year, didn't make much of an impact during his rookie season.

    Perhaps that could lead to Philadelphia having interest in Beckham, who has consistently provided great production when he's been on the field. Health's been an issue, though, as Beckham tore his left ACL this past season and limited him to just seven games. But once he has recovered, there's reason to think the 28-year-old still has solid seasons ahead of him.

    In the past, the Eagles have seen firsthand what Beckham is capable of, having spent his first five NFL seasons in the NFC East while playing for the New York Giants. He's had more than 1,000 receiving yards in each year he's played at least 12 games, and he always brings big-play potential to an offense.

    It's possible the Browns could consider trading Beckham, who may still bring in a decent return in a deal. Cleveland's offense fared well following his injury, and it could want to go in a different direction in its receiving corps.

    If that's the case, the Eagles may want to check in on Beckham, as he would become their No. 1 receiving moving forward, giving their quarterback (whether that's Carson Wentz or Jalen Hurts) a top target to throw to.

Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    How fun would it be to watch Gilmore pair up with Darius Slay in the Eagles secondary? It would give Philadelphia a top cornerback duo that could limit opposing passing attacks and give its defense the potential to make momentum-shifting big plays.

    The Patriots had a down season, going 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. So they could potentially want to deal Gilmore while his value is high to help them acquire more draft capital and set themselves up for future success.

    Gilmore, who was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, had another solid season in 2020, although he was limited to 11 games due to injury. The 30-year-old had 37 tackles, three pass deflections and an interception while continuing to provide strong coverage.

    It's possible the Eagles won't want to commit a large sum of money to two cornerbacks (Gilmore and Slay) when they have other needs to fill. But if there's a way they could make it work financially, while also addressing those other positions, it could help take their pass defense to another level.

    If New England is looking to deal Gilmore, it could end up working out in Philadelphia's favor. At the very least, it should be a move that the Eagles consider.